By Anna Lothson
Feds announce flood recovery funding
The federal government announced last week that funding is now available for residents who suffered flood damage from recent heavy rains.
Oak Park and River Forest residents who were dramatically impacted by the recent flooding can now apply for assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Application may be made online, via a smart-phone or by telephone. For more information about availability, visit fema.gov/apply-assistance.
Oak Park offers carpet recycling
Oak Park has the solution for that old carpet. The village of Oak Park is testing curbside collection and recycling of used carpet and padding.
The program is similar to the current yard waste and bulk garbage programs that use color-coded stickers to help cover costs. Residential units may place an unlimited number of rolls out for collection so long as each has two blue stickers attached.
Each roll must be no more than 4 feet wide (cut or folded) and not exceed 50 pounds. The rolls must be placed in a dry location such as on/under a porch or in a garage. Program participants then contact the vendor via information on the sticker to arrange pick up. Stickers cost $2 each and can be purchased at the village hall cashier's office. For more information, call 708-358-5700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Economy Shop pairs with Food Pantry
The Economy Shop, a unique resale department store that benefits seven local nonprofit agencies, announced recently that the Oak Park-River Forest Food Pantry is its newest partner.
Because of this, volunteers from the Food Pantry will be in charge of the Men's Casuals Room at the shop.
The Food Pantry joins the Day Nursery of Oak Park-River Forest; Thrive Counseling Center; the Children's Clinic, sponsored by the Oak Park and River Forest Infant Welfare Society; Hephzibah Children's Association; the Oak Park-River Forest Senior Citizens Center, and the Animal Care League as recipients of the Economy Shop's grants.
Oak Parkers encouraged to bike to work
The weather forecast looks good for Bike to Work Week. The local event, hosted by the Pleasant District, runs until May 17, part of the National Bike to Work Week.
To mark the week, the district is hosting a photo challenge. The winner of the challenge, as determined by Facebook voting, will win a bike-friendly gift pack and the official Bike to Work Week Photo Challenge trophy. Contest details are available on the Pleasant District website, pleasantdistrictoakpark.com.
Oak Park businesses are invited to submit a picture of employees taking part in National Bike to Work Week. Submitted photos will be posted on the Pleasant District Association Facebook Page the following week. Once posted, friends and fans can vote for their favorite picture by "liking" it. The business whose photo receives the most "likes" by noon on Friday, May 24, will be declared the Bike to Work Week Photo Challenge Winner.
Social media bill passes House, Senate
State Representative La Shawn Ford (8th District) issued a statement Monday after his bill protecting student privacy and stopping colleges and universities from requesting social networking passwords was approved by the Senate.
"Social media is a key form of communication today, and schools should not have rights to a student's personal interactions with friends and family. Every student's right to privacy should be respected, and they should reserve the freedom to express themselves privately without facing repercussions from their schools for what they discuss in closed circles," Ford wrote.
"As technology becomes more and more a part of our day-to-day lives, we have to look at how we can ensure greater privacy online. We must carefully consider our actions now and set precedent for Internet regulations in the future. I thank my colleagues in both the House and the Senate for their support in protecting students' rights."
Ford's bill now awaits action from Governor Pat Quinn.